WASHINGTON (WKOW) -- President Barack Obama is asking Congress for help in policing oil markets to be on the lookout for price manipulation by speculators.
Speaking from the White House Rose Garden Tuesday morning, Obama said the country can't have some speculators reap millions while consumers suffer from high gas prices.
The president wants six times more staff at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to supervise the market. He also wants to raise penalties for market manipulation and give regulators the ability to require more money to back up speculative trades.
Obama's attention to oil speculation is his latest effort to focus on gasoline prices in the face of determined criticism of his energy policies by Republicans.
The average price of a gallon of gas at the pump has dropped slightly but is still higher than it was at this time last year.
WASHINGTON (WKOW) -- President Barack Obama wants Congress to strengthen federal supervision of oil markets, increase penalties for market manipulation and empower regulators to increase the amount of money energy traders must put behind their transactions.
Obama will unveil the $52 million plan Tuesday.
The White House plan is more likely to draw sharp election-year distinctions with Republicans than have an immediate effect on gasoline prices. The measures seek to boost spending for Wall Street enforcement at a time when congressional Republicans want to limit the reach of financial regulations.
Watch President Obama deliver his statement live on www.wkow.com/live at 10:10 a.m. Tuesday.